Tag Archives: Calendars


Connect the Dots Is Attending the 2018 PPAI Expo

2018 PPAI Expo: January 15-18, 2018

2018 PPAI ExpoThe PPAI Expo 2018 is this weekend and Karie, Marcie, and Kim could not be more excited to attend this year’s event.  We always love attending this event because it is a great time to learn about the latest and most exciting promotional products, receive industry education, and enjoy a time connecting with other industry professionals.

This year, the PPAI Expo is going all out, “In 2018 The PPAI Expo brought more than 12,000 distributors from more than 4,500 companies together under one roof for the five-day event.The PPAI Expo features more than 1,200 exhibiting companies showcasing more than a quarter million products over 1,000,000 square feet of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, the fifth largest convention center in the U.S.”

2018 Promotional Products

We will be on the 2018 PPAI Expo floor on Tuesday and Wednesday. If you have heard of a product or marketing tool or are just looking for something in particular, let us know!  We will go “shopping” at the show just for you!

Attending the PPAI Expo 2018 is going to be a great time to see the newest promotional products and marketing tools.  Thousands of suppliers attend the event and bring products they want to highlight or that are a current trend.  There is over one million square feet of trade show exhibit hall and hundreds of products being showcased at the event including new promotional products, green promotional products, incentive promotional products. There is literally every promotional product you could want or need, for every industry! Additionally, there are also a wide array of promotional product price points for any marketing budget.


2018 PPAI Expo Education

In addition to looking at thousands of new 2018 promotional products, we will also be receiving education.  Monday will be a day filled with education for Connect the Dots.  There are many opportunities to gain industry knowledge and keynote luncheons with outstanding speakers.  It is always nice to gain additional industry insight from fellow marketing industry professionals.

The popular saying, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” will not be true of our trip to the 2018 PPAI Expo in Vegas. We are excited to bring back everything we learn at the PPAI Expo so that we can continue to provide our clients with the best service and promotional products available in 2018!


Start Planning Your 2018 Marketing Calendar ASAP!

Have You Started Planning Your 2018 Marketing Calendar?

When it comes to marketing, any business should employ a “long game” strategy.  You do not want to be constantly scrambling at the last minute to market your business or a new product.  That typically results in a lackluster marketing effort and paying a higher price for marketing assistance, materials, and promotional products.  Rather, it is far better to plan as far ahead for your 2018 marketing calendar as possible.  Play the long game because you know what holidays are coming up.  You know what type of business you have and what type of clients you have.  You know when a new product will launch or a big business announcement will be made. So that means you can generally anticipate when you will need to market your brand or distribute promotional products.

Save Money By Planning Ahead for Your 2018 Marketing Calendar

There are many advantages to planning your marketing calendar ahead of time.  For 2018, we recommend that businesses set meetings with their sales reps as soon as possible.  By starting to plan your 2018 marketing calendar now, one big advantage is that you will save money.  When you strategically plan ahead you can buy promotional products in advance and typically save money.  If you buy at the last minute you may pay more for the product and expedited shipping.  Additionally, by planning ahead you’re able to strategically look ahead at how you want to spend your marketing budget.  You may know that a certain time of the year or event will produce more revenue.  By strategically allocating your budget to better promotional products for those times, you will maximize your ROI.

Get More Creative with Promotional Products by Planning Ahead

In addition to saving money by planning ahead, you’ll also be able to be more creative with your promotional products.  Many businesses only use promotional products for trade shows or during the holidays.  And, while that is still good, there are far more creative ways to utilize promotional products. So, by planning your marketing calendar ahead you can anticipate fun or interesting holidays or events.  Get creative with your promotional products to grab your customer’s attention!  Maybe you run a dog boarding facility – you could celebrate National Dog Day (August 26th, 2018) by giving your clients custom dog promotional products to celebrate.  It will show thoughtful anticipation and creativity that will make your clients want to keep using your business.  The fact of the matter is that people like receiving promotional products and they work!  Many people will either use your promotional product (free advertising!) or be able to recall your brand more easily.  Get with your sales rep as soon as possible to begin strategically planning your 2018 marketing calendar and promotional products!


2018 Promotional Calendars Are An Effective Marketing Tool

2018 Promotional Calendars

If there is one universal promotional product or marketing tool that everyone needs and uses it is a calendar.  Promotional calendars effectively advertise your business and keep your branding in front of current and potential customers throughout the year.  Marketing calendars that have been customized are not just a useful tool. They are also a fun promotional product that reinforces the kind of brand that you are.

Do Promotional Calendars Really Work?

In this paperless, digital era the paper calendar still reigns supreme in the promotional products arena.  Not sure how effective marketing calendars can actually be?  PPAI reports some interesting and exciting statistics about just how effective promotional marketing calendars are, “By all accounts, the advertising or promotional calendar is a very effective advertising vehicle. Based on recall statistics, of those who reported having just one advertising calendar, 75 percent could remember the name of the company advertised and 77 percent could remember the product or service/message advertised. Moreover, 77 percent had done business with the company that gave them the calendar prior to receipt of the complimentary calendar and 78 percent plan to do business with the company again. Sixty‐one percent had a more favorable impression of the advertiser and 49 percent have referred the company who gave then the calendar to somebody else. Recall and reaction of those who had received two or three advertising or promotional calendars was also very encouraging … huge response and referral numbers, huge implications for ROI.”

Customize Your Promotional Calendars

2018 Promotional CalendarsCustom promotional calendars offer a number of marketing benefits.  First of all, they provide big bang for the buck.  They are a relatively inexpensive way to effectively market your brand throughout the year.  Additionally, they reinforce your brand identity and create brand recall.  When customers can recall your brand easily you gain customer loyalty.  And, even if someone is not yet a customer they might become one!  When they go to make a purchase the calendar may just help them remember you and want to buy from or work with your business.

Order Your 2018 Promotional Calendars Now!

2018 promotional calendarsIt is never too soon to order 2018 promotional calendars.  In fact, the sooner that you do, the more customized your calendar can be. Choose from a myriad of calendar style, sizes, and bindings – possibilities are endless.  Additionally, when you order your 2018 promotional calendars don’t forget to include some fun and interesting holidays.  Choose holidays that correlate with your company or enhance a marketing theme for your company.  There are many fun and unique national holidays to highlight. Consider including things like “National Left Hand Day,” “National Bike Month,” “National Golf Month” and more! And, the sooner you order the sooner you can pass it out to existing and potential customers.  If you are interested in learning more about how 2018 promotional calendars can be an effective marketing tool for your business, we encourage you to contact Connect the Dots.  And, if you do, we are more than happy to send you a fun and free National Holiday calendar.



Christmas in August? Start Planning Your Holiday Marketing Campaign Now!

promotional holiday giftsTemperatures are hot outside but did you know that it is already time to be planning ahead for the holidays?  When strategically planned in advance, your marketing campaign will be well-executed and successful.  During the holidays, the mall isn’t the only crowded place.  Every business wants custom branded promotional holiday gifts or logo products at the end of the year.  This rush tends to lead to a lot of panic and rushed decision making. Also, you may potentially experience a delay in getting your items if production times are slow because of volume.  We may be used to instant gratification but if you want great custom holiday promotional products items don’t wait!  To give promotional gifts to employees or customers during the holidays, you need to start planning now.

Think You Don’t Have the Budget for Promotional Holiday Gifts? Think Again!

promotional holiday giftsMany businesses think they don’t have the budget to do a gift during the holidays but that is a misconception.  Investing in promotional holiday gifts and a strong holiday marketing campaign can pay off big for your company, as the U.S. Small Business Administration points out, “According to a 2013 survey by Constant Contact, participating in holiday season marketing is a rewarding venture for small businesses, with 52 percent of respondents reporting that new customers attained during the holidays become repeat, loyal customers…Constant Contact also reports that only 31 percent of small businesses surveyed start planning for the holidays between two and three months in advance. Now this doesn’t mean that these businesses won’t be ready, but it’s more than likely that the campaigns and events that they run will be pretty generic. Without planning, these campaigns won’t take into account what’s worked well in the past (and I don’t mean gut feelings, but real, hard metrics). They also won’t allow much time for originality, no matter how creative you think you are.”  Often, if you plan ahead you are able to secure the best pricing and availability on your promotional holiday gifts.

Strategically Market Your Brand During the Holidays

promotional holiday giftsWhen you plan ahead, you can discuss you can carefully weigh your marketing options.  This will allow you to tailor a marketing campaign and promotional products to your brand and customers. There is more than simply celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah or the Holiday Season in general in December.  Get creative with your marketing and make a memorable impact!  October is Breast Cancer Awareness month so consider ordering promotional products to give to employees or survivors.  Halloween is in October and why not have a little fun with your promotional products?  Also, both Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving are in November and offer unique opportunities to promote your business. Avoid the headache of having your promotional items delayed or backordered because of the seasonal rush. Maximize your 2017 holiday marketing campaign and start planning for your promotional holiday gifts now!


Promotional Products and Spiritwear for Schools and Universities

Create School Spirit with Custom School Promotional Products and Spiritwear!

It may feel like summer has just begun but it’s already time to start thinking about your “back to school”! And we don’t just mean school supplies, we mean school marketing.  Every type of school or any size needs promotional products to encourage school spirit.  There are many different kinds of school spiritwear and school promotional products.  These products pump students, parents, and school sports fans for the new school year!  Promotional products and spiritwear generate school spirit, goodwill, excitement, loyalty, and more!  Sell your school promotional products and spiritwear in the school shop. And, give your custom promotional products away for exciting promotions or to alumni and donors as a gift for donations!

school promotional products apparelThere are certain school promotional products and spiritwear that are great for any type of school.  For example, t-shirts are a great promotional item for any school. They can help entice parents to join an elementary school PTO or PTA which all schools need. And, promotional apparel is great for teenagers in high school or young adults in college.  Parents are always proud to represent their child’s school so a school cannot go wrong ordering school t-shirts.  Additionally, promotional pens are useful for any school because people always need pens!  And, as an added bonus, if the pens get left somewhere it will help promote the school to new people!  To continue, bookmarks make a great promotional product because they are inexpensive yet useful.

school promotional products stadium seatThere are many promotional products or spiritwear items that work well for high schools or colleges (though many would still be great for elementary schools as well!).  If your school has an athletic program, great spiritwear is a must!  Hats, t-shirts, and sweatshirts are some of the most popular.  But, don’t forget the fans and tailgating crowd!  Custom printed logo folding chairs, seat cushions, umbrellas, misting fans, water bottles, or coolers are sure to be crowd-pleasers.

Additionally, when ordering promotional products for high schools or universities it is a great idea to stock the school shop with many “school staples.”  These can include promotional notebooks, logo pens, calculators, rulers, tote bags, backpacks, highlighters, sticky notes, staplers, flash drives, coffee mugs, and more!  Every student needs many or all of these things so why not provide them an opportunity to purchase them with your school’s logo on them or give them out as gifts to students!

school promotional products earbudsFinally, promotional products and spiritwear do not have to be all serious or studious, have some fun!  Some fun promotional products for schools or universities include logo sunglasses, footballs, Frisbees, headphones/earbuds, stress ball, mascot plushes, or phone charger/power bank.  Seeing students wear spiritwear or use custom promotional products creates an atmosphere of loyalty, fun, and excitement.  Prospective students will want to be a part of that kind of community, donors will want to give donations, students will feel like they are part of something fun and exciting, and parents will want to participate.  Contact Connect the Dots to order your school or university promotional products now to be prepared for the new school year!


Promotional Calendars Market Your Brand In 2017

Calendars Are the Marketing Gift That Keeps On Giving
calendar-imageThe end of 2016 is near and that means that everyone is going to be looking to get organized in 2017.  Now is also the time to be thinking about how you will brand and promote your business in the New Year and one great way to do so is with promotional calendars.  While our smartphones have calendars and can help us track our schedules, the paper calendar is far from dead.

Most people are inundated with beeps, dings and alerts on their smartphones for a variety of reasons – social media notifications, location-based notifications, text messages, emails and more.  Though calendar notifications are handy, they often get lost in the chorus alerts.  Additionally, ease of access to smartphone calendars does not necessarily equate to use.  Even though your calendar is right there in your phone, you may not remember to look at it, especially if you get distracted by other applications on your phone.  The paper calendar has been around for a long time and it is not going anywhere.  This is because people like having something right in front of their face to remind them of important meetings, deadlines and plans which is why promotional calendars make great marketing tools for your business.

Choosing to give your customers a gift that is not just branded with your logo but also useful is a great way to ensure that your brand stays front and center in their daily lives.  Think about a person’s desk – there is only so much space on that desk to place useful items. If your brand makes it on that desk because they are using your calendar then you have reserved some very valuable real estate in their day-to-day life.  When a customer looks at their desk calendar or handheld planner each day, they will repeatedly see your brand’s logo or name.  This will increase brand recognition, even if the customer does not realize it is happening.  It is a subtle but incredibly effective form of marketing.

Additionally, our customers that purchase promotional calendars and planners are choosing an economical way to reach a mass market.  You could pass out a business card to everyone you meet but they will likely stick it in their wallet or purse and forget to look at it again. Your promotional calendar or planner is like a business card that someone will look at every day.

calendar-image2While a calendar or planner may seem straightforward, there is a great opportunity to make your selection unique so that it further extends your business’ branding and message.  Though the actual calendar will still be a functional and useful calendar, you have a great opportunity to make a statement about who your business. Customization options include your choice of color, style, size and other unique branding choices.

By gifting employees, customers and potential customers with something that is incredibly useful and likely to be in their hands or on their desk daily you create brand recognition and brand loyalty.  PPAI points out just how effective promotional calendars are as a marketing tool, “Despite a heavy reliance on computers and cell phones, nearly 80 percent of survey respondents said they prefer printed calendars for scheduling and record-keeping and more than 60 percent said they have at least one advertising calendar in their home or office…82 percent said they enjoyed receiving advertising calendars, which further substantiates the advertising calendars’ place alongside other mainstream promotional items…When measuring recall of the advertiser among consumers, more than 70 percent recalled the advertiser and message on their calendars and 70 percent will be doing business with the company again.”  Now is the time to work with Connect the Dots Promotions to order your promotional calendars for 2017. Order soon so that you can start giving them out calendars to employees, customers and potential customers so that they can have them in hand for the New Year.


Top 10 Corporate Holiday Gifts

As the year winds down, it is important to remember to thank employees for the past year of dedicated service and customers for the past year of patronage.  Corporate holiday gifts have become an anticipated ritual in the workplace because they bring a smile to everyone’s face and make people feel appreciated.  But, we know that they are not just a nice gesture, they also strengthen business relationships and boost company morale.

Rather than wait until the last minute and have to rush or pay to expedite freight, now is the time to find a special way to say, “thank you”!   We know that every business is different and we want to help you find the right gift that will leave a lasting impression.  At Connect the Dots Promotions, we have carefully curated a list of “Top 10 Corporate Holiday Gifts” to help our customers this holiday season. These holiday gifts are a fiscally responsible way to make your employees feel appreciated and valued while simultaneously promoting your brand.

Top 10 Corporate Holiday Gifts

  1. Travel Mugs

106677_1Whether you opt for a stainless tumbler or any other kind of insulated tumbler, everyone can appreciate having another place to keep their drinks warms or cool.  Not only are they useful, but they are an attractive way to promote your brand wherever your employee or customer brings their travel mug.



  1. Zippered Tote

106117_1A grocery tote is eco-friendly, very handy and comes in a variety of sizes and styles.  Upgrade to an insulated tote to help keep perishables cool and insulated.  Your employees will be sure to thank you for their useful holiday gifts that prominently display your company’s logo!



  1. Water Bottle

101041_1There are water bottles in every imaginable size, shape, color, and style you can imagine.  There are traditional water bottles, canteen-style water bottles, fruit infuser water bottles, plastic water bottles, stainless steel water bottles, and so much more!



  1. USB Drive

104786_1gb_1A USB drive or thumb drive makes bringing important files with you easy with a compact, branded case that is easy to throw in purse, briefcase or right in your pocket!  Make it even easier to never forget your USB drive and gift your employees or customers with a keychain USB!



  1. Padfolios

101683_1From subtle and sleek to bright and fun, there is a padfolio to meet your needs.  Your employees and customers need to write things down so why not gift them with a custom-branded padfolio in which to do so?



  1. Drawstring Backpack

108194_1Whether your employee or customer is headed to the gym, going for a hike, running to the store, or going on a trip, they are sure to reach for something to carry their things in.  By gifting thing with a promotional drawstring backpack they will not only have something to carry their things in, they will bring your brand with them wherever they go!



7.  Apparel

108592_1We carry a diverse selection of apparel in a variety of price points and styles for any climate.  During the cooler winter months your employees and customers will enjoy keeping warm with a promotional jacket or fleece vest with a stylish and subtle embossed or embroidered logo.



8.  Blanket

112997_1Carry-along blankets are incredibly popular and for good reason – everyone can use them.  Whether bringing them along to your child’s soccer game, toting them to a picnic, bringing them with you to an outdoor even to keep warm or packing them in the car for a trip, a carry-along blanket holiday gift will get a lot of use and be greatly appreciated by employees and customers alike.



9.  Planner or Calendar

103415_1A planner or calendar is a great, universally-appealing gift because everyone needs to keep track of their schedule.  While many people use their phones for some calendar-tracking, the traditional calendar is far from dead.  Many people appreciate having a calendar they can throw in their bag or sit on the desk so they can jot things down and see their schedule right in front of them.


10.  Pen

103860_1Who doesn’t love a nice, stylish pen?  Everyone loves a pen that writes well and with our promotional pens you can gift your employees and customers with something very useful while also promoting your brand.  And bonus, you will keep your business in the mind of employees and customers every time they use that pen, providing constant marketing!